Friday, January 18, 2008

Phadke’s Legacy

Veteran actor and producer Ramesh Deo is desperate. The latest film he has produced, with financial support from four municipal corporations, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Mumbai and Kolhapur, was released last Friday, and he wants people to go and see the film. No, not for getting his money back. He is not even thinking about it, explains Deo, while attending a press conference at the 6th Pune International Film Festival where his film 'Vasudev Balwant Phadke' is competing at the Marathi cinema category.
"I made the film with an aim, to inform the new generation about what our forefathers did for us, and what hardship they went through to achieve it," said Deo, adding that he wants the young audience, especially the college-going students to see the film, to appreciate a piece of history as it is.
"And, I want to take the film abroad, to make foreign audience about our past. They is why I wanted to make the film technically sound. I wanted to make a grand movie."
Stressing that he wanted to make a grand film, Deo points out that he is not doing this as a business prospect. Anyway, the business prospect is not very bright, adds Deo, referring to the collection the film made in the last three days. "I have spent money in the film knowing that I would not get the money back. But I wanted to do it for society. It was my way of giving back to society for whatever I have received."
He continues: "I could have made a picture with less money. But then, it would have looked different. We spent total 2 crore 40 lakh to make the movie. It was a conscious decision. When we ran short of money, everyone in the family gathered together and dis-cussed how to go about it (Incidentally, Deo's son Ajinkya plays the lead role in the film), and, 'You can sell everything in the household except for my mangalsutra.'"
For Deo, Phadke's was the story that needed to be told, and told in a grand way. And, as he stresses again and again, this is a tale that needs to be seen.

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